Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who will Receive this Year's Cecil B. DeMille Award?

One of the highlights of "Pre-Awards" Season is the announcement of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Award for lifetime achievement, the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The timing of the announcement has changed somewhat through the years, but recently has stayed firm at 9:00 a.m. PST on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving week. This year, that's this Wednesday, November 14.

The Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Golden Globe was first given in 1952, to namesake Cecil B. DeMille himself. Producer/Director DeMille was one of the most successful filmmakers of Hollywood's Golden Age and in 1952 he made the film that would win Oscar's Best Picture, The Greatest Show on Earth. Who won the second DeMille award? Walt Disney.

In the early years of the award, the recipient was generally a producer/studio head, but starting with Maurice Chevalier (1959's recipient) performers have worked their way up, to the point that the award has been given exclusively to them since 1978 (with a few "hyphenates" among them, such as Clint Eastwood).

So, who do you think will be given this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award? The most likely candidate of the last several years has certainly been Meryl Streep. Streep is second in Golden Globe nominations only to Jack Lemmon (19 to his 22). It seemed to make sense, with her triumph a few months earlier in The Devil Wears Prada, that she would get the award last year. Instead the award went inexplicably to Warren Beatty who hadn't made a film in years (not that Beatty wasn't deserving). So basically, anything goes.

Here is a link to the Cecil B. DeMille Award on the HFPA's website. Below is a list of the recipients through the years.

1952: Cecil B. DeMille
1953: Walt Disney
1954: Darryl F. Zanuck
1955: Jean Hersholt
1956: Jack L. Warner
1957: Mervyn LeRoy
1958: Buddy Adler
1959: Maurice Chevalier
1960: Bing Crosby
1961: Fred Astaire
1962: Judy Garland
1963: Bob Hope
1964: Joseph E. Levine
1965: James Stewart
1966: John Wayne
1967: Charlton Heston
1968: Kirk Douglas
1969: Gregory Peck
1970: Joan Crawford
1971: Frank Sinatra
1972: Alfred Hitchcock
1973: Samuel Goldwyn
1974: Bette Davis
1975: Hal B. Wallis
1976: n/a
1977: Walter Mirisch
1978: Red Skelton
1979: Lucille Ball
1980: Henry Fonda
1981: Gene Kelly
1982: Sidney Poitier
1983: Laurence Olivier
1984: Paul Newman
1985: Elizabeth Taylor
1986: Barbara Stanwyck
1987: Anthony Quinn
1988: Clint Eastwood
1989: Doris Day
1990: Audrey Hepburn
1991: Jack Lemmon
1992: Robert Mitchum
1993: Lauren Bacall
1994: Robert Redford
1995: Sophia Loren
1996: Sean Connery
1997: Dustin Hoffman
1998: Shirley MacLaine
1999: Jack Nicholson
2000: Barbara Streisand
2001: Al Pacino
2002: Harrison Ford
2003: Gene Hackman
2004: Michael Douglas
2005: Robin Williams
2006: Anthony Hopkins
2007: Warren Beatty

What is your guess for this year's DeMille?

Notables who have yet to receive the honor include: Woody Allen, Julie Andrews, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Glenn Close, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert DeNiro, Gerard Depardieu, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Dennis Hopper, George Lucas, Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, Meryl Streep, John Travolta, and Denzel Washington.

I think that when the HFPA decides to break with giving the award soley to performers, it will begin with Steven Spielberg.

And, of course, Meryl Streep could happen at any time...

But my guess for this year is HFPA favorite (12 noms, 3 wins) Michael Caine.

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